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I have a blog (http://blog.brodzinski.com), which is wordpress.org blog with pretty popular Thesis theme with almost no other customizations. Some time ago it was penalized by Google search - it simply stopped appearing in search results even for search terms it used to be top result, like my name - Pawel Brodzinski - which isn't anything close to popular search term.

To be exact the site has been penalized on Nov 18. It started popping up in search result on Dec 23 but only for a few days. Since Dec 27 it is out again.

  • I know Google guidelines and I'm not aware to break any of them.
  • I submitted reconsideration request after I noticed penalty. It was proceeded and there was no change whatsoever (no surprise as it seems the site was penalized again).
  • I checked diagnostics in webmaster tools and neither any malware was detected nor any strange search terms popped up.
  • I read related threads on Google webmasters forum but found none of solutions working for me.
  • I posted a thread on Google webmasters forum (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=546339f49d4a03bc&hl=en) and the only answer I got was to check for duplicate content. Well, there is some duplicate content published on the web but it is true for vast majority of blogs and it doesn't seem to be a reason for a penalty. Also before Dec 27 I was able to remove duplicate content from a couple of sites which were republishing my feed but this doesn't change the situation - the site was penalized again.

The problem is I have no idea what can be wrong with the website or how to find it out.

To make the problem worse I'm no webmaster, I just run a wordpress blog, which was supposed to be easy.

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2 Answers

Pawel, your site does seem to be suffering from a duplicate content penalty.

I did a quick Google search using quotes using a few different strings of text, each about 20+ words in length, each seemingly unique (i.e. not "spun" content, or database sourced).

For example (Google query text):

"So you managed to get your managerial position. You killed all those 
monsters along the way with you RPG. You solved extraordinarily difficult
logical puzzles. You sneaked through all deadly traps set by the most evil
characters the world has ever seen. And now you’re here – a manager. The
manager I should say. Now"

Google results point me, each time, to about 15 pages with the exact same string of text.

There is a good question/answer on this Stack Exchange site which explains how to fix a penalty due to duplicate content. It's at the following URL:

Does duplicate content on another site affect my ranking?

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Partial feed (teasers) is republished in many places, that's true. But if you take text from the middle of any post you'll find a single page republishing content (blogger-index.com and it doesn't work at the moment), so I don't think it is the issue of duplicate content. And there are way more popular blogs which seem to be scrapped by multiple sources (problogger.net - 16 sites) and they don't suffer from duplicate content penalty. –  pawelbrodzinski Dec 29 '10 at 22:47
    
@pawel. I think Chris makes a really strong argument. You don't have as good a page rank as more popular blogs, so having duplicate content hurts you more than it hurts them. –  Abinadi Dec 30 '10 at 10:43
    
I can give a number of similarly page ranked blogs which are in similar situation to mine (multiple sites republishing partial feeds; a couple of them republishing full feed), yet they don't get penalized. Also, from Google guidelines: "it's unlikely that [another site duplicating your content] will negatively impact your site's ranking in Google." This means the problem should either hit many blogs or the problem is somewhere else. I tend to believe the latter, although I took action against the only site which steals full content from me at the moment. –  pawelbrodzinski Dec 30 '10 at 16:46
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Content duplication doesn't seem to be the issue because:

  1. The site is back in search results even though nothing has changed about sites which were scrapping/stealing content from the site. There is still 1-2 other sites which are scrapping full feed and a number of them which are scrapping only teasers.

  2. Google doesn't seem to penalize for duplicate content.

Now, I wish I could tell for sure what was the real reason of the penalty but I'm not sure. The last thing I did was making 301 redirections from related sites (www.brodzinski.com and brodzinski.com) to the original site (blog.brodzinski.com) so search engine doesn't see "server not found" error for them but I did it a day or two after being back in search results so I don't know for sure.

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